Why Our Native Languages are Important

Before I start going around Campus to talk to multicultural students, I want to talk about the importance of native languages.

I personally find that talking about our native language is a sensitive topic to many because of how our society pushes the importance of English onto multicultural students. And after Wednesday’s class discussion, I realized how there are more people than you think that are abandoning their native languages because they feel embarrassed and ashamed to embrace their language. I too, am able to relate to that, as I once felt that way. I felt afraid of speaking my native language that I eventually started losing the language. It wasn’t until high school when I realized how important my native language was to me.

There’s a quote from the article “Importance of Language — Why Learning a Second Language is Important” by Leonardo De Valoes that goes “The most important one, however, that we can learn is our own mother tongue as this is one of the most basic parts of our identity. If we were to lose our own tongue, for example, if we were to grow up in a country which is not our own, someplace that is not our home, in my opinion, we would be losing a part of ourselves.”

The article also brings up a good point of how it’s so much easier to express our feelings in our native language. And be able to connect easily with those from the same culture, as we are able to find words in our native language to describe our feelings, rather than having to use English to describe our emotions.

In addition, our native language is important because it allows students to be bilingual. Studies has also shown that people who are bilingual are smarter. They are more prone to adapt to the environment easier because they are always switching between languages. A study at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain saw that “bilingual subjects not only performed better, by they also did so with less activity in the parts of the brain involved in monitoring, indicating that they were more efficient at it” (Bhattacharjee 2012).

And if you guys have time, please check out this video!

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